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Chessie Nature Trail is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lexington, Virginia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.3 miles Elevation Gain: 541 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

The Chessie Nature Trail is a public-access 7-mile long walking trail between Lexington and Buena Vista, along the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad right of way. The trail is most suitable for walking and running, as several fixed gates make the trail unsuitable for bicycles. The trail goes through private lands, including and active cattle farms. Exercise caution and respect. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Pack out all litter. The Rockbridge Area Conservation Council brought the trail to the attention of the Nature Conservancy and Virginia Commission on Outdoor Recreation, and in 1978 the Nature Conservancy accepted deed to the property. The deed was transferred to the VMI Foundation Inc. in 1979, and then to Virginia Military Institute in 2009.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice and easy. Former Railroad Bed. river runs along side and there are some steep cliffs beside the trail.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail if you are looking to build fitness or run fast. Well-maintained, wide, and flat.

trail running
3 months ago

Can’t say enough about how much I love this trail. It’s gorgeous, and long enough to get some decent mileage. Very clean and save. Also flat, with amazing sections of scenery. LOVE this trail!

3 months ago

Great walking trail! Easy walk along the river!

5 months ago

Easy trail, good scenery.

walking
9 months ago

great flat walking trail.

9 months ago

Best place to walk or run in Lexington!

walking
10 months ago

great trail near the city of Lexington. We didn't get far because our dog is not dog friendly. good place for biking, walking or river viewing. benches available along the trail

nature trips
10 months ago

I would give it 5 stars except for the gates

walking
11 months ago

Pretty trail along the river. The trail is large and well maintained. It’s flat and not heavily trafficked. You are about 30 feet from a river to one side and have beautiful trees and rock walls on your other side. Very easy trail for all skill levels.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Wonderful trail. My family and I enjoyed our time walking on this trail. Great for small kids. Our children are 7 and 5

mountain biking
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The cows and gates are half the fun. We rode mountain bikes and enjoyed the ride. Don’t do this on a road bike

Monday, December 18, 2017

nice easy walk

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Easy nice beautiful hike. Had dog on leash went 4 miles out and back. Some runnners cyclists but no conflicts. This is a wide well kept rail trail I would say. Runs along the river.

road biking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nice trail. Not very crowded. Cows were friendly.

mountain biking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Fun family adventure with little ones.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easy walking trail. Lots of spring wildflowers! Beautiful scenery. We walked through gated private property with cows, and the cows were laying on the trails. We just walked around them . They didn't bother us. The trail follows the water most of the time. Geese were fighting in the water over a female. That was interesting. Well maintained.

walking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nice walking, running trail. Wide trail. Goes through some cow pastures so watch your step. Great starter trail or a just need to get out. Pet friendly.

walking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

I haven't done all of this trail yet and am only in this area for a week, so don't know if I'll get to hike it all, but I did do a 5 mile RT hike on it this evening and it's beautiful. Very well maintained. Mile markers every 1/2 mile. Beside the river. Rock walls next to the trail. A few other walkers and runners, but a nice respite from people and cars. Birds singing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

great trail for pets...plenty of trails leads to the water to cool them down and even allow them to go for a swim.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Always lovely. Great for younger kids.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Super flat, easy, wonderfully scenic, lots of swimming holes along the first few miles!

walking
Monday, March 23, 2015

A fun, casual, easy 7-mile walk with lots of changes in the scenery. I walked from Lexington to Buena Vista, traveling along the Maury River for the first half of the trail. At one point you pass under the interstate and then begin coming to a number of gates, as the trail crosses private land. Right of way is granted to trail walkers. On the half of the trail closer to Buena Vista, be prepared to share the trail with lots of cows. They can be intimidating if you haven't spent much time around cows, because they're so large. But you'll find that they're docile and disinterested, and that they'll generally walk off the trail as you get closer to them. If they don't, just walk around them. The farmland and pasture areas that the trail crosses are just as beautiful as the mountain and river areas, just be prepared to step over and around a little manure. OK, a lot of manure. The trail is very popular, and on a warm day you'll be sharing it with a number of running students, older folks, children, dogs, and other animals.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A scenic, wide, easy, flat, well maintained trail with wildlife and a river that parallels it most of the way. Has a fair amount of foot traffic and dogs (some of which are on leashes.) Has maybe 80% tree cover, so it makes for shady walking when leaves are on the trees. There are several benches along the way for when you want to take a break. The trail is shared with (2) farmers where beef cows & bulls are kept. Haven't experienced or heard of there being problems w/ bull attacks though.

hiking
Sunday, October 13, 2013

very nice trail system with great scenery. many people use this trail for hiking , biking and running. Flat trail system.

nature trips
Sunday, August 25, 2013

my favorite local trail!

walking
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beautiful rails-to-trails hike that runs along the Maury River. Very easy terrain, good for all members of the family, as long as you watch the little ones (steep drops on the river side). Due to the fact that it was a former railway, the grade is almost nonexistent. Gorgeous scenery. My favorite trail I've visited so far.

mountain biking
27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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